Forest Park Forever's annual Honeysuckle Removal Day is one of our largest volunteer events every year. This year, in addition to removing honeysuckle, our 80 volunteers also helped remove other invasive species and cleared understory material along a trail in Kennedy Forest. These additional tasks were tied to the Kennedy Forest Restoration Project, a project made possible by the Mysun Charitable Foundation to improve biodiversity and ecosystem health within Kennedy Forest.
In all, approximately 3.5 acres were cleared of exotic, invasive, and otherwise undesirable species including Bush Honeysuckle, Catalpa, Ash, Mulberry, Locust, and Elm. The removal of these species will provide more sunlight to the woodland floor, allowing for better germination and growth of some of our favorite wildflowers and native grass species. This work lays the foundation for the restoration of wildlife habitat in Kennedy Forest — including better opportunities for many native pollinator species such as bees and butterflies, as well as an improved foraging habitat for birds and mammals — as it allows room for more native grasses and wildflowers to be seeded and planted along with hundreds of native tree species.
This type of effort reflects the overall mission of Forest Park Forever to protect and improve the beauty of Forest Park for a better visitor experience while also improving the health and function of ecosystems within the Park. Thanks to the combined effort of volunteers and Forest Park Forever staff, this year’s Honeysuckle Removal Day was a huge success.
Our volunteers are an integral part of the Forest Park Forever team, and events like this are essential to the continued improvement of Forest Park. To learn more about our volunteer program, please click here.